Whatever Doesn't Kill You
An Emma Howe and Billie August Mystery
By Gillian Roberts
(Minotaur Books, Hardcover, 9780312262693, 288pp.)
Publication Date: May 2001
Other Editions of This Title: Mass Market Paperback
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Private investigator Emma Howe's hiring of young Billie August (see Time and Trouble, the first book in Gillian Roberts' new series) was an act of desperation. She needed an assistant and could pay very little; Billie needed a job and would take what she could get. But both women were surprised to find that in spite of Billie's inexperience and Emma's tendency to bully, they were slowly coming to respect each other.
Now they are faced with two cases involving more than the routine surveillance of suspected insurance fraud perpetrators. A young man of deficient mental ability has been accused of murdering a woman who had befriended him on their daily jogging route. Emma has handed this case to Billie, though the evidence against him is convincing and she has no hope that the younger woman can come up with anything new. Emma herself takes on another case that seems destined to lead to a dead end-- a young woman who knows she is adopted wants to find her birth mother; her adoptive mother refuses to cooperate. There's not much hope that either investigation will find anything helpful, but both the accused young man's mother and the adopted woman are eager to try, and the fees will pay the month's rent.
If either detective could extract information from the frightened young man, it would be gentle Billie rather than impatient Emma. Billie, whose own five-year-old son requires a knowing touch, gradually calms the troubled youth; Emma, meanwhile, is making progress on her own case, and the detectives are not only amazed to find that the two seemingly so-different cases are moving closer and closer together, but that they may, indeed, be successful in each.
What they also find, almost too late, is that the secrets they are uncovering are leading them into peril.
Gillian Roberts is well known for her Amanda Pepper series. This is her second book in a new series to feature Howe and August. She lives in Marin County, California, with her husband.
"The Howe-August series could be one to watch."--Kirkus Reviews on Time and Trouble
"Roberts peels away layers from each character's life, leaving the reader with a suspenseful, affecting tale."--Publishers Weekly on Time and Trouble
"[The] novel feels fresh and energetic...stylishly written and reasonably surprising. A very good beginning for a new series."--Booklist on Time and Trouble